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There are many types of books out there that you can read. There are books that stir the imagination by taking you into a new world. There are books that introduce you to famous people you’ve seen on the news or read about in the newspaper. There are stories that teach you life lessons. Below are 12 different genres, or types, of reading you will encounter throughout your life:

Realistic Fiction: Made-up stories that could have happened. They help us read about people our own age with similar interests and problems. Check out “Blubber” by Judy Blume or “The Planet of Junior Brown” by Virginia Brown.

Historical Fiction: Made-up stories about people and events from authentic historical settings. These stories help us understand the past and learn more about our own heritage and the heritage of others. Check out “Johnny Tremain’ by Esther Forbes.

Mystery: A type of fiction where you can discover answers to unknown questions about a person, group or situation by reading the story. If you are observant, creative and imaginative, you may just solve the mystery! Check out the “Encyclopedia Brown” series by Donald Sobol.

Science Fiction: A type of fantasy where readers travel to distant galaxies or future societies. With science fiction, you can learn about imagined technology, scientific possibilities and the future of our world! Check out “The Lost World” by Arthur Conan Doyle.


The setting of a story — where it takes place — can often be important to understanding the action that takes place. This is true in real life stories as well as fiction. Scan the newspaper for a news story that interests you. On a sheet of paper, write out where the story takes place. Then write three ways the place affects what goes on in the story — or how it could affect future events. Share ideas as a class.

There are many types of books to read, and Paws can help you find the ones you will like best with the list on this page.

Fantasy: Stories about new worlds or extraordinary experiences that open our minds to all kinds of possibilities! Check out “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle or the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Poetry: Original combinations of words that are part of everyday language. Poetry lets us experience words in new ways. Check out “A Light in the Attic” by Shel Silverstein.

Humor: Stories that make us laugh and show us that life can be funny! Humorous stories often include exaggerated situations and unexpected twists. Check out “The Cybil War” by Betsy Byars.

Biography: A book about a real person’s life. Through biographies, we learn about people who interest us. Check out “I Have a Dream: The Life and Words of Martin Luther King Jr.” by James Haskins.

Myths: Stories from ancient cultures that answer questions about the creation of the Earth, the origins of people and the reasons for natu- ral phenomena. Myths are like tales or stories, with a supernatural twist. Check out “The Adventures of Hercules” by Robert Baxter.

How-To Books: Informational books that can teach us something about a hobby, craft or interest. Check out “What’s Your Story? A Young Person’s Guide to Writing Fiction” by Marion Dane Bauer.

Sports: Sports stories can be fiction or non-fiction. Many sports stories teach us about life’s lessons. Check “Out of Nowhere: The Detroit Tigers' Magical 2006 Season” by George Cantor.

Newspapers: Daily information sources that tell us what’s going on in the world around us. By reading the newspaper, we learn about the people, places and issues that shape our lives. Check out the Detroit Free Press or The Detroit News, in print or online.

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